A trailer park is a neighborhood consisting of an area of land where travel trailers rest. The term may also be used in a derogatory manner to refer to mobile home parks or manufactured home communities.
In the United States, tornadoes and hurricanes often inflict their worst damage on trailer parks, usually because the structures are not secured to the ground and their construction is significantly less able to withstand high wind forces than regular houses. However, most modern manufactured homes are built to withstand high winds as well as a mainstream home, using hurricane straps and proper foundations.
In the United States, the derogatory manner in which trailer parks are discussed is stereotypically assigned because of the belief that people who live in trailer parks are closer to the poverty line and sometimes viewed as lower on the social class ladder. With the advent of bigger and better manufactured homes, trailer parks are no longer only a home to not-so-desirable folk. Despite the advances in manufactured home technology, the trailer park stereotype still survives as graphically evidenced in a quote by Presidential adviser James Carville in the course of one of the Clinton White House political scandals, "Drag $100 bills through trailer parks, there's no telling what you'll find"," regarding Paula Jones. The stereotype are also seen in pop culture, such as in the cartoon series King of the Hill, Luanne's broken family had been living in a trailer park. Her aunt Peggy Hill once unintentionally uttered "trailer park trash" also hurt her to tears.
There are several advantages to living in a trailer park that cause select people from all income levels to favor them over more traditional housing forms. As private land that a trailer owner leases from the trailer park owner the trailer park owner controls all aspects of the park as a private land owner would. Most owners restrict certain unsavory people from occupying or leasing lots such as persons with a criminal record. Also owners or their manager agents conducting park business on their behalf will not allow lawns to be left uncut, homes to enter into disrepair, or unapproved objects to be left laying about outdoors. This goes against many stereotypes of trailer parks but most modern trailer parks are favorable places to live now retaining 10% of the United States population within their safe borders.
This perception of trailer parks was not improved by FEMA's creation of emergency trailer parks for the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina, the quality and temporary nature of which was disputed.
Many stereotypes have developed regarding people who live in trailer parks, which are similar to stereotypes of the poor.
On the other hand, it has become more socially acceptable in recent years to live in a trailer park. Substantial improvements in the size and amenities of trailers and other recreational vehicles, together with the development of the internet, have made a semi-nomadic lifestyle more popular among retirees, writers, consultants and others whose income is not dependent on a fixed location. The increased popularity of these vehicles for recreational use has also led to the improvement of many of the parks themselves.